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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LUBS1290 Economic Controversies

10 creditsClass Size: 270

Module manager: Gary Slater

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

What is economics about? How is economics done? Why has there been so much criticism of economics in recent years and why don't economists agree? This module considers why economics is a controversial subject. It first explores the practice of economics, examining controversies relating to how economists seek to understand the world and how the structure of the discipline itself influences that approach. Second, and drawing on the research interests of academic staff, it examines a range of contemporary economic issues, focusing on competing analytical perspectives within economics and their resulting policy implications. In doing so, it highlights how the different visions of the world among economists can lead to very different interpretations and analyses of contemporary events and issues.


This module will provide students with an introductory understanding of the nature and methods of economic inquiry, focusing on the use of models in economics, and some of the resulting ethical issues. This understanding will then be applied to a range of contemporary economic issues, where the objectives are to highlight controversies surrounding how these issues are analysed and nature of the policy prescriptions that follow.

Learning outcomes
Upon completion of this module students will be able to:
- Recognise the practical relevance of economics in explaining real world phenomena
- Identify how economic theory and empirical research informs and prescribes economic policy
- Engage with state of the art inquiries and current theoretical and empirical problems in economics

Skills outcomes
Upon completion of this module students will be able to:
- Apply critical thinking to reviewing evidence, interpreting results and problem solving
- Apply basic concepts of ethical awareness


Indicative content

The first part of the module will explore what economics is, how economics is done and why that is seen by some as controversial. The second part of the module draws on staff research interests, focusing on controversies surrounding contemporary issues of interest. These may change from year-to-year. By way of example, recent topics have included: working time; government deficits; valuing infrastructure investments.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours84.00
Total Contact hours16.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

This could include a variety of activities, such as reading, watching videos, question practice and exam preparation.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Your teaching methods could include a variety of delivery models, such as face-to-face teaching, live webinars, discussion boards and other interactive activities. There will be opportunities for formative feedback throughout the module.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Assignment2,500 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

The resit for this module will be 100% by 2,500 word coursework.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:28:06


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